Skip to main content
Ages 13+
Under 13
Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm

Mysticism Vs. Science: Conversation Between Krishnamurti And David Bohm


The philosopher and the eminent American scientist got together on several occasions during the 80s to confront different points of view surrounding the mind and the future of mankind.

Jiddu Krishnamurti promulgated total freedom, not tied to any belief, dogma or religions, and during his conferences he also denounced the role of the guru which he was never able to free himself from. His was an invitation to use inner change as the basis of our own freedom, radically breaking away from imposed patterns, from the programming we are all subjected to during our “education”. For Krishnamurti, being free meant freeing the conscience from all the conditioning in order to see and feel the world in its original purity again.

His reflections surrounding meditation are still revealing: meditation could not, according to him, be systematized as a discipline, since this would make it conditioned; by setting it as a concrete practice, as an established technique, susceptible to being learnt, could not, according to him, lead to awakening. To meditate is to perceive the world in its full amazing reality, it is to live constantly in a vast sense of surprise, and this cannot be attained by through mortification or discipline; the change is imminent and the search for a gradual awakening is nothing other that one of the many forms of deceit that our mind submits us to.

In order to test these revelations, Krishnamurti did not hesitate to talk to some of the most advanced minds of his time. His need to communicate with as many people as possible led him to participate in debates and televised discussions, where he always displayed an extraordinary ability to listen and a refined virtue for analysis and interaction. The results of this attitude were his famous conversation with Doctor David Bohm, professor of theoretical physics. During one of these, Krishnamurti and Bohm imagine and explore, through the dialectic practice, to come to a number of revelations describing the future of humankind. A mystic and a theoretical physicist join forces to shed some light on the unhopeful future of a world overrun by war, tyrannies and natural disasters.

In the midst of their synchrony, despite their diametrically opposite ways of thinking, Krishnamurti and Bohm would touch upon key issues that could substantially improve the world, which for Krishnamurti forcefully had to pass through the sieve of psychology. Change can only be possible if we understand that there is no psychological evolution (whereas physical evolution does exist). Change is “now”, and any desire to improve “over time” is destined to fail; while we set out to be fairer, sincere or kind, we continue to be unfair, liars and mean, and change is infinitely postponed because of the illusion of psychic evolution, that is to say, of a psychological time. If there is no time, which Krishnamurti asserts despite Bohm’s perplexity, then change is imminent, instant and humanity has indefinitely postponed this change because of an illusion that its own mind has created. To understand this —not just intellectually— is an essential condition for a true change of consciousness.

The conversation between the wise Hindu and the American scientist conveys a hopeful future where individual change will be the coming of a new world, the change which Krishnamurti tirelessly worked for in his constant conferences and talks, until he passed away in 1986, fulfilling, perhaps without knowing it, the destiny that was imposed on him while he played with his beloved brother at the edges of the Madras River.

Change is now, he tells us, there is no “psychological tomorrow”, and in it is in our hand to make it happen to enable a change in humankind. Will we be able to make his message a reality?

Related Articles